Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Frugal or Cheap?

English: Compact Disc player carousel for thre...
English: Compact Disc player carousel for three CDs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The following post will be a testament to my frugality.  One might find frugality to be an admirable quality in a person.  For the most part, it would be, however, to Mrs. Dickster there are some qualities in my frugality that she finds just a tad annoying.  OK, they downright piss her off.  She might even go so far as to call me a cheap bastard.

I haven't always been a frugal person.  In my youth, I had a tendency to spend money that I did not have.  I was definitely what you would call an early adapter of technology.  When CD came out, I bough a CD player and converted all of my vinyl over to CD as quickly as I could.  In addition to technology, I was heavily into fashion buying nice clothes and more than one pair of exotic cowboy boots.

When I got married and started a family, my spending habits came along with me.  I wanted to provide nice things for my wife and my son.  For years, I was able to keep things going, getting all the bills paid and providing for my family.  Unfortunately, those habits eventually caught up with me, especially after getting laid off from one job and having to take a lower paying job.  A few years ago, I ended up in a bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy led to a great many behavioral changes.  I no longer have the latest technology.  There is no blue-ray DVD player in the house, and I am sitting here watching a 27" tube TV, thought I think I may have to spring for a new TV soon as the picture is starting to go on this one.  My fashion sense faded long ago, and is the genesis of this post, along with the occasional ire of my better half.

Cowboy Boots
Cowboy Boots (Photo credit: Andrew Scott)
In my hey day, I had a closet full of clothes.  I had a few good suits, several pairs of slacks and shirts, sports coats, and dozens of neck ties, all silk naturally.  I had at least three pairs of exotic leather cowboy boots made from elephant, shark, and cape bison. Those days are long gone.

These days, I have about three or four pairs of casual pants and a handful of shirts in my rotation.  For my casual weekend clothes, I primarily wear t-shirts, most of which came as freebies from promotions at Baysox games and beer launch parties at DuClaw's.

In the past, I was never hesitant to by myself new clothing if I needed them.  These days, I am very reluctant to spend money on new clothes, especially on certain articles of clothing.  There are just certain items that I don't want to spend money on.  Consequently, I wear what clothes I have until they can no longer be worn.
It is that trait that drives my wife bonkers.

I think nothing of wearing a shirt that has a few stains on it or is fraying in spots.  On more than one occasion, my wife has gotten on my case for putting on a pair of socks that has a whole in the heel.  My thinking is that they still comfortable, and besides, who is going to see the whole in my heel if I have shoes on?  In her mind, the socks have outlived their usefulness and should be replaced.  I guess I can see her point, but not enough to go buy new socks.

Underwear happens to be one of those items that I am loathe to spend money on.  Sadly, this past weekend I broke down and bought a package of new boxers.  To be clear, I did walk away from the display a couple of times before finally biting the bullet and putting a pack in my basket.  It was a good deal, as it was a bonus pack of boxers giving me six pairs of boxers for the price of a four pack.  What a bargain!

I have to explain the current status of my old boxers so that I can justify the purchase.  My old boxers have been in service for a few years now.  Some of them have gotten to be extremely threadbare, especially in the crotch area.  You could almost call them "crotchless" but trust me, they aren't sexy at all.  However, they still are in the drawer just in case I haven't done laundry and don't have a clean pair of suitable boxers.

The other issue is that the elastic waist band has lost a lot of their elasticity.  With my recent weight loss, I have been having a difficult time keeping my drawers up around my waist.  I do a lot of tugging to keep them up.  In fact, I often do not have to use my hands to take them off.  I just wiggle my hips a bit, and down they go.  So there you have my story. Sad but true.

I will be entering this post in the upcoming DudeWrite.  There you can find, hopefully, some entertaining dude bloggers.  Check out the fun.

Dude Write
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  1. Haha Dickster! I always look at underwear as being too expensive. Sadly, I took a picture of the package that I bought, so I would know what kind to buy every time.

    Otherwise, I am a straight up GoodWill shopper. Shoes I get on Clearance at Kohls. I sometimes have too many, but with Teenwolf having similar size as mine, I can hand them down if I find I am not wearing them. Shaggy on the other hand has developed the boat feet in the famdamily and needs a larger size. UGH.

    Fortunately, I get little call for suit wearing these days, though I do bring a certain Burn Notice look to any suit I rock.


    1. Earlier this year, I discovered that a few of the long sleeved shirts that were in my rotation for work had worn holes in the elbows, so I checked out Goodwill and was able to add a few acceptable shirts that I could wear for work.

      Fortunately, I no longer have to wear suits for work. The last few jobs that I have had have been strictly business casual. One pair of khaki's that I am currently wearing was a pair that we bough when my son went to school that no longer fit him

  2. I'm spending a little more on underwear these days, but I don't have much choice. Now that I'm retired, I spend a lot of time lounging around the house in boxers and t-shirts.

    1. oh to be able to lounge around in boxers and t-shirts

  3. Cool funny post :)
    I found you via Dude write btw

  4. Guilty as charged. I'm bad with the underwear thing. Thankfully I have someone in my life now who takes care of those things for me, otherwise I'd likely never throw away a pair, lol. She doesn't even ask. If they start to get ragged she throws them away and buys me some new ones. I do love that woman. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Michael A. Walker
    Defying Procrastination

    1. you are quite a lucky man having somebody that will take care of those things for you. my wife does a lot for me, but buying new clothes is not one of them

  5. I haven't bought new clothes in years! I have 2 pair of jeans, one pair of shorts, and a few dingy dress clothes at all. I have one pair of shoes and one pair of flip flops, both of which are past their time.

    My underwear are air conditioned..if you catch my drift! I have a drawer full of mismatched socks that I'm afraid to throw away for fear of never having socks to wear.

    I'm too broke for clothing...when the kids need clothes and food, my needs come last.

    1. yes, I tend to come behind the wife and kid myself when it comes to new things.

  6. My kids are always calling me cheap; they chide me about an Everlast tee shirt I've owned ever since they can remember. I don't tell them this, but I'd sooner give them away than the tee shirt.
    You are neither frugal nor cheap; you're financially limited. Living within your means ain't glamorous, but I bet you sleep better at night now than when you were broke.

  7. I think it is definitely a good thing that they don't fit as well anymore because of a positive change in your appearance and health.

    My underwear loses its elasticity because I fling it at people like a rubber band too often.

    1. interesting, which begs the question, were you wearing said underwear prior to flinging them like a rubber band or did they just happen to be lying around and handy

  8. My girlfriend is quite cheap, and it is beginning to rub off on me. And being cheap too.

  9. I am the same way. I can't remember the last time I bought any piece of clothing. Underwear can't be seen anyway so it's condition is of no consequence.

  10. Boxers are expensive for an article of clothing that is rarely seen outside the house. I buy WalMart brand and they're still $15 for 4 pairs. I hate spending money on something I deem pointless. Why can't we just run around naked?

    This reminds me that I am in dire need of new boxers.

    1. Chiz, have you ever noticed that the people who do run around naked (nudists) are all people you would rather not see naked? why is that?



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